Auction preview: Beatles signed record, Prince's stage-used piano

Music memorabilia from the Beatles and Prince highlight this week's top lots

Cover Image for Auction preview: Beatles signed record, Prince's stage-used piano
A copy of the Beatles' first single, signed by the entire Fab Four, is featured at RR Auctions. (Credit: RR Auctions)

Heritage will hold its Signature Video Game Auction over the weekend, highlighted by the first public auction appearance of a sealed and graded Castlevania hangtag game, the single highest-graded copy of Super Smash Bros. (last sold for $240,000 in 2022) and more.

Elsewhere this week, we've got our eyes on some incredible music memorabilia, a rarity from Joltin' Joe and an Anthony Edwards rookie card.

Let's get to cllct's full auction preview, with analysis from Will Stern and Darren Rovell.

Joe DiMaggio Signature Series porcelain card (1940 Play Ball reprint)

In the 1990s, Preferred Customer Service struck deals with multiple Hall of Famers, producing limited-edition autographed reprints on porcelain cards, displayed in a wooden box.

This DiMaggio card is a rare example where a reprint can have value. (Credit: eBay)
This DiMaggio card is a rare example where a reprint can have value. (Credit: eBay)

The DiMaggio set, which includes reprints of his 1939, 1940 and 1941 Play Ball cards, was released in 1997.

One of the cards, signed by DiMaggio just two years before his death, is hand-numbered 368/500 and has a current bid of $515 on eBay, with the auction closing Sunday night.

Stern: The first thing new card collectors tend to learn is to steer clear of reprints, which are often little more than poor attempts to dupe unsuspecting buyers into paying for worthless cards, believing them to be originals.

However, in this case, this card is among the best options for picking up a Hall of Famer's signature, elevated by the paper it's written on, despite the fact the card isn’t original.

According to an LOA from PCS, it took two years for the company to strike the deal with DiMaggio. As part of the deal, DiMaggio personally received 139 of the 500 sets for his estate.

Some of these cards originally belonging to the estate can be found on eBay and various auction sites, denoted by a blue sticker on its reverse labeled “Yankee Clipper Joe DiMaggio Enterprises.”

This card will likely end around $1,000.

Rovell: When the story is too complicated — card is reprint, auto is real — stay away. That’s a rule that I can’t change. Sorry, Will.

Stern: There’s a word for that approach. I believe it’s laziness.

Elvis Presley’s Holy Bible

Personally owned by Elvis and present on his nightstand in Graceland on the night he died in 1977, the Bible is embossed “Elvis Aaron Presley” and includes annotations and bookmarks.

The lot is accompanied by a letter from Elvis’ cousin, who says she went to Graceland after Elvis’ death to organize his personal belongings and packed this bible. The lot has received a single $30,000 bid with two days remaining.

Stern: This is curious timing as the auction comes the same week Graceland’s foreclosure auction was challenged in court by Presley's granddaughter and current owner of the home, Riley Keough. A temporary restraining order of the auction was issued Monday.

But it gets weirder. As TMZ reports, GWS Auctions, which is handling the sale of the Bible, is owned by Priscilla Presley’s former business partner, Brigitte Kruse, who claimed in a lawsuit this year that after partnering with Priscilla to manage her finances she was unfairly cut off from the agreement.

Rovell: This is Elvis. The Bible is ironic, not iconic. Get me a pair of his aviators or a valium pill bottle.

"Citizen Kane" movie poster, 1941

The movie poster category desperately needs population reports. (Credit: Heritage)
The movie poster category desperately needs population reports. (Credit: Heritage)

A rare original poster from Orson Welles’ magnum opus, it has been assessed as “Fine/Very Fine” though has undergone restoration. The poster holds a reserve of $30,000, which has yet to be met as of Thursday morning.

The Heritage poster is Style A. Another copy sold for more than $45,000 in March 2021, though it was in superior condition.

Stern: My big issue with this lot is that it is not the famous poster from the film. The version most recognize is the theatrical release poster (Style B), one example of which sold for $57,500 in 2006.

Rovell: If there’s a collectible space that needs slabbing for authenticity and safekeeping and population reports, it’s posters. We need to know how many of these things are out here.

"The Kid" movie poster, 1921)

"The Kid," Charlie Chaplin’s debut feature film, which he wrote, directed, edited and starred in, occupies a vital place in the history of early Hollywood. This rare variant is the only known to exist and is notable for its depiction of “The Tramp” and “The Kid” in an emotional embrace.

Stern: Chaplin is one of those names, like Sinatra or Houdini, that holds cultural relevance far beyond the population of people actually intimately familiar with his work.

So, given that this is from his first film and is the sole example (last sold for $114,000 in July 2022), the high estimate of $120,000 appears attainable.

When we think about collectible market declines over the past few years, it often surprises people to see that niche markets, or at least those lacking the fanfare of cards and comics, have remained pretty strong.

Anthony Edwards 2020 Panini Prizm Black Gold rookie card /5 (BGS 9)

Anthony Edwards' market is surging amid Minnesota's playoff run. (Credit: PWCC)
Anthony Edwards' market is surging amid Minnesota's playoff run. (Credit: PWCC)

As Anthony Edwards and his Minnesota Timberwolves battle the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference finals, he has quickly emerged as a burgeoning face of the league.

His combination of on-court bona fides and natural charisma has caught the eyes of collectors. This card, which ends on Sunday at PWCC, has a current bid of $15,500

Stern: Ant is the new hobby darling, no question about it. According to CardLadder, his player index is up over 60% in the past year, including nearly 45% in the last month alone.

There have been six comparable public sales of this card, beginning with the top result of $103,200 at Goldin in August 2022. In November 2023, this same card was bought at PWCC for $21,000.

Now is as good a time to sell as any and I would expect the consignor to make a tidy return on this one.

Tupac Shakur, Luther Campbell, Snoop Dogg concert poster, 1996, Miami

A 1996 promo poster of a concert in Miami featuring Tupac and Snoop. Three weeks later, Tupac was gone. A copy of this poster sold in Sotheby’s for $2,772 in 2022.

Rovell: Don’t sleep on Heritage’s hip-hop sale. There are some really cool pieces. Why are the prices so low? Because just like the movie poster sale, it’s all risk. There are a ton of fakes of this one, and there isn't an authenticator in the market.

Beatles signed "Love Me Do" single

This release of the single is the only to feature Ringo on drums. (Credit: RR Auction)
This release of the single is the only to feature Ringo on drums. (Credit: RR Auction)

All four Beatles penned their names to this first pressing copy of “Love Me Do,” the band’s debut single.

Signed copies of the single are certainly rare, but they come up for auction somewhat regularly. But this example was signed by the band just a day after recording. It appears to be the same one that sold for $39,000 in October 2020 at Sotheby’s.

Stern: U.K. first pressings like this are super collectible as they are the only release of the single to feature Ringo on drums. After hearing the record, producer George Martin was less than enthused by Starr’s performance and had him swapped out for session drummer Andy White, instructing the band to re-record. All subsequent releases feature White.

The real story here is the timing of these signatures. They’re incredibly early Beatles autographs and capture the Fab Four at the genesis of their career, before they changed music forever.

Jim Morrison letter to Tony Glover

Morrison wrote to Glover on The Doors letterhead in June 1969, sending him two books of his self-published poems.

Glover was a Minneapolis rock legend, and a friend of Bob Dylan, who dedicated a poem to Glover in 1963, calling him a “best friend in the highest form.”

Rovell: I don’t care what the substance of this Morrison letter is or who he is writing. A rare Morrison sig from two years before his death with that incredible Doors logo. This is easily a $20,000 piece in my opinion.

Stern: Well, you should, because it’s a great story. Glover performed with The Doors in November 1968, just a few months before this letter.

Prince’s stage-used piano

Prince played this piano during his final concert series in 2016. (Credit: RR Auction)
Prince played this piano during his final concert series in 2016. (Credit: RR Auction)

This Yamaha grand piano was used by Prince during his final concert series, played in Australia and New Zealand from Feb. 16–24, 2016.

The auction lot includes the following excerpt from a review of the Sydney show at the time: “What you probably haven't seen is Prince, the last musical genius of his enigmatic, obscenely talented kind, sing to you while playing a piano for a couple of hours, brilliantly reinventing selections popular and otherwise from his vast catalog and showing why he caused a national incident for music fans when this brief Australian tour was announced a mere three weeks ago”

Stern: Stage-used instruments, especially those tied to significant tours, are always awesome to see pop up. Since this is Prince, it’s especially meaningful, and the fact he made a point to play this piano instead of his regular guitar adds a sweet twist.

Plus, this fuses the line between collectible and functional since it can sit in a home in place of a regular, non-Prince piano.

Rovell: The bigger the item, the greater the discount on what you think something is worth. Pianos are cool as hell, but they are impossible to get out of, so if you buy this, you better like it.

Will Stern is a reporter and editor for cllct.

Darren Rovell is the founder of and one of the country's leading reporters on the collectible market. He previously worked for ESPN, CNBC and The Action Network.